It’s possible to find ‘radical solutions to land hunger’ within ambit of law and Constitution‚ Zuma believes
He once again steered clear from saying the Constitution should be changed to allow for land expropriation without compensation‚ a call he had supported earlier this year‚ after he said parties should work together to change the property clause in the Constitution.
Zuma was delivering the official opening address of the ANC’s national policy conference in Soweto.
The debate on land during the ANC’s national policy conference in Soweto is set to be a volatile discussion‚ as the party’s provinces are on both sides on the divide on whether to expropriate land with or without compensation.
Both the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal has openly stated they have resolved to support land expropriation without compensation‚ while Gauteng has said the problem lies in implementation‚ and not in changing legislation.
Zuma said the conference will discuss a number of interventions needed to advance radical socio-economic transformation.
He said some of the measures must include accelerated land redistribution‚ land reform and support for agriculture and agro-processing on a large scale.
He said land remains one of the most contentious and emotive issues in SA.
“The pace of land restoration and redistribution remains a sore point for millions of our people who were shunted to a small portion often of the lowest quality of land and even denied the right to purchase land in areas that were reserved for a minority of citizens‚” Zuma said.
“We believe it is possible to find radical solutions to land hunger‚ working within the ambit of the law and the Constitution.”
He added that ways of sustaining commercial agriculture must be discussed‚ as well as how to increase agricultural contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.
Section 25 of the Constitution‚ or the property clause‚ states‚ amongst other things‚ that land may only be expropriated for public interest or subject to compensation.